Number95

Members
  • Content count

    288
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

269 Excellent

7 Followers

About Number95

  • Rank
    Royal Pony

Recent Profile Visitors

4,567 profile views
  1. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    That's MLP:FiM for me. A concept sounds interesting, but what's actually given isn't. When it comes to almost anything, it exists to make money. I think that's actually more reasonable than it seems. People like money, but they also need money to buy and make more things. And just because something is made with the intention of a profit, that doesn't mean quality must be thrown out. I think you already know what I'll say. At least, I hope the creative team for this show does the same. It has been a while since I've watched the movies (I've only seen the first 3), but I know that in terms of trying to do something with the same scope as the 2-part episodes, they're more of the same despite having more time. The Celestia and Luna in the EQG universe are as worthless as their pony counterparts, the main characters who aren't Twilight or Sunset still do nothing, and the villains (sans Principal Cinch, who I thought was a serviceable antagonist) are lame and still participate in unexciting final showdowns. Personally, I would actually accept Celestia being a school principal assuming she wouldn't be inactive, but you know how that turned out. As for being "reduced to a school principal," it's not like she was ever worth something in Equestria. As for the princesses' retirement, I'm sure their intention was to show that the Mane 6 earned this position, but given how much the princesses not named Twilight suck anyways, it just looks like the princesses are giving up positions that don't fit them. The episodes will also try to say that the Mane 6 have a lot to live up to as well as major responsibilities, which just means they'll definitely be more beneficial to Equestria than Celestia and Luna ever were. I mean, they are already better for Equestria than Celestia and Luna. The show would also like to say that the alicorn sisters are tall figures but have limitations, so more ordinary ponies can actually be better than those tall figures in some respects. Except the show never proved that those sisters' effectiveness. At least Luna helps ponies in their dreams, so that's something even though it still amounts to nothing. And I bet they can't even name one thing that Celestia is better than Twilight at.
  2. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    I feel that it could even be insulting to Sunset fans, or at least fans who wanted to see her return to Princess Celestia. What could the writers actually do in one minute? There definitely wouldn't be time for catching up or even a heart-to-heart, and the transcript reflects that as all the two do together is acknowledge some change in each other. As if that's somehow enough to justify a scene of their reunion. Sunset even claimed that Celestia grew a sense of humor, but that ended up being a throwaway line as the show has done little to nothing productive with the latter. And Sunset definitely won't stick around in Equestria as that would mean the end of Equestria Girls since she's also its main character. What would that problem be? And you're right about Princess Celestia if the transcript is anything to go by. Outside of acknowledging Sunset having changed, she also forgives Sunset, and that's it. They brought in Celestia just to do the bare minimum, and as @WaterPulse said, all in one minute. Princess Celestia wasn't even needed then. If Sunset did go back to Equestria for whatever reason, even temporarily, there would be something of an obligation for the storytellers to acknowledge her history with Celestia. But they might as well have let Sunset (consciously or not) decide to avoid her if one minute was all they were getting together.
  3. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    @WaterPulse @Metemponychosis Sounds like the special is worse than a waste of time. It would've been fine if they just wanted to use Celestia for later, but given the nature of this incarnation of MLP, it is definitely more like they finally remembered that Princess Celestia was relevant in Sunset's life. There's no way they can actually make productive use of one minute of screentiime for a character like Princess Celestia, but I'm not surprised at her lack of screentime anyways. I just checked the transcript on the MLP wiki, and of course, Celestia doesn't know the answer to the problem. What else would they have her do, especially in just under one fucking minute? Also, I thought the special was only 44 minutes long. Were there other specials that tied very directly into "Forgotten Friendship"? EDIT: @WaterPulse What did you personally think of the special, anyways?
  4. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    @Metemponychosis @WaterPulse Is the "Forgotten Friendship" special worth looking at, or is it worse than a waste of time?
  5. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    Starlight's lack of appearances in season 6 certainly didn't help my opinion of her, but I don't know if getting more appearances would've helped at all as I don't care about Starlight anyways. I doubt the show ever wanted to feature a student/teacher dynamic as it never really bothered to do anything between Twilight and Princess Celestia. It only happened to whatever degree between Twilight and Starlight because the latter established a connection with the former (i.e. the main character) of the show. I suppose I am, too, but it wouldn't be me if I didn't bitch about the stupidity.
  6. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    It is, but that doesn't excuse the results for being stupid. Did season 8 do much with the School of Friendship? Can you elaborate on this? I'm not sure I understand. It just goes to show that 9+ years and 9 seasons can still result in accomplishing nothing, and there's nothing I hate more than wasted potential. I know that season 9 hasn't aired yet, but it still won't help the show no matter what it tries. On a sidenote, I can't believe how many dumb grammatical mistakes I made. Too bad the I can't edit that post, but somehow I can edit my other posts (including this one) for whatever reason.
  7. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    School Daze Surprisingly, the episode starts off by referencing the theatrical movie. Good thing the creative team wanted to be more explicit about the movie actually mattering to the show, but at the same time I also don’t really care if that would have been the case at this point due to my abysmal interest in the show, and I’m only watching this episode just to see what kind of crap they come up with for this 2-parter. Outside of “Horse Play” and the “School Raze” finale, I don’t have a reason to bother with the rest of season 8. And of course, I will bitch about stuff that irritates me if and when they come up. Rarity recalls the experience with Klugetown, which is still strangely not named at this point. Then again, the Mane 6 (which includes Spike) never learned the name of the place, so whatever. RD even reminisces her experience with the pirates and mentioned that the Mane 6 plus Spike were almost thrown out of the ship. Thankfully 3 out of the 7 characters could fly. Of course, 3 other ponies plus Spike don’t have a way to prevent themselves from falling to their deaths, but I’m pretty sure Twilight could’ve just used her magic to pull them up while they were falling. By the way, the map showed the pirate ship still flying around even though Tempest destroyed it. Maybe the pirates built a new one after the end of the movie. Pinkie then says that they made seashell necklaces for all of the seaponies. I don’t remember that happening in the movie, not even in “One Small Thing”. Either I’m remembering that musical number wrong, or maybe that stuff happened off-screen after the end of the movie. Starlight asks about Tempest, and I sort of wonder what Starlight did during the movie. Then again, I don’t care for Starlight, so I also don’t care to find the answer. Next. Twilight says that Tempest wanted to spread news of the Storm King’s death defeat and information about the power of friendship. The movie didn’t exactly make it seem like Tempest learned what friendship really meant. Sure, she saved Twilight, but that was repayment for Twilight saving her earlier from the Storm King. That looks more like doing some good can also feel good, or that helping others will give those others a reason to help back. There is also Tempest’s backstory about her being abandoned by ponies she thought were her friends, but she doesn’t see or experience for herself that real friends don’t abandon each other. Twilight’s friends did that for a while being coming back to her and reconciling, and Tempest witnessed the Mane 6 embracing after previously seeing Twilight all alone, but is that really enough? That stuff is just one part of friendship. But I’m going on a tangent, so moving on. With all these references to the movie, it’s a bit of a shame that the movie characters won’t show their faces. But I'm sure the real reason the movie characters won’t appear in the show is because they won’t be able to get the characters’ respective voice actors back due to scheduling conflicts, lower pay (which seems more likely to me), or another reason I’m unaware of. And the creative team doesn’t want to recast the movie characters. If that’s also true, they probably should have casted people who do voice acting for a living, but whatever. AJ notes that the Friendship Map (I don’t recall the show giving it an official name) expanded during the events of the movie. Apparently, it was keeping track of the Mane 6 even though it also didn’t send them on a friendship quest, because why the fuck not? Obviously, its main purpose is to give the Mane 6 (plus Spike and Starlight; anytime I refer to the Mane 6, I’ll be alluding to Spike and Starlight as well) an excuse to go to certain places, and the creative team wants to reuse the movie locations (one synopsis of an episode had seaponies) as well as create new ones. Aren’t the Mane 6 so blessed? They’re connected to the Elements of Harmony, they get to be heroes and save Equestria in the meantime, they have a huge fucking crystal castle with their own personal thrones, a magical map that works specifically toward them, and said map lets them explore and travel to new places to have another adventure. And before someone says that they have a lot of problems to deal with (i.e. episodes), at least they get to deal with and work through those problems, which is better than sitting around and doing nothing (i.e. the role of the other alicorns). Twilight has been given extra blessings, but that’s not relevant right now. Anyways, Twilight decides to create the School of Friendship because, in her words, there are creatures who know nothing about friendship. Really? I find that hard to believe, so someone correct me if that’s somehow true. It’s not like Twilight was inspired after seeing others not acting the way they should toward their own friends. The reason I find the idea of “creatures” knowing nothing about friendship is because friendship seems like a concept every “person” knows about. If a person doesn’t want companionship or even just plain help from others, or maybe one might find friendship to be mushy or some bullshit, then that means they’re already familiar with the idea of friendship since they have a certain feeling about the idea. It’s not like they live in complete isolation. And they’d also decide whether they want other people they meet to stay in their lives or not. But this minor ramble about the credibility of such a reason to open this school is pointless as the show runs with it, and I don’t really care if the show does something that I think it shouldn’t have nowadays as it’s past unsalvageable. Of course, that won’t stop me from calling stupidity to creative decisions. I also don’t know if the other episodes in season 8 have the Mane 6 trying to teach what friendship entails, and I still don’t care either. So Twilight presents the her school idea to Princess Celestia, who will fulfill her usual role of exposition and making the episode seem big and important but will ultimately contribute nothing. Celestia even thinks that Twilight knows how to run a school because Twilight was her “star pupil”. Aside from the fact that the show hasn’t proven how Twilight was a “star pupil” outside of submitting her homework, anyone with half a brain cell can see that being a good student who’s eager to learn doesn’t merit qualification for running an entire fucking school, something that Twilight immediately points out. This may be an arguably minor case, but the show is still unsurprisingly not done with making Princess Celestia look like a moron. There’s only Twilight and Celestia in this scene, and someone had to point out the difficulty of such an undertaking, but the show would much rather make Twilight look smart even though it’s obvious that she lacks any kind of experience, so Celestia was the only candidate for being the unlucky (not really) schmuck. Why not just cut that line from Celestia and have Twilight quickly mention the difficulty of running a school during her own excitement for the same effect? Celestia notes that Twilight will need approval from the EEA to set up the her new school, and even Celestia’s political position and authority don’t overtake the EEA’s. It’s only 3 minutes into the episode, and it’s already clear that Celestia will do nothing as usual. Sure, she will do slightly more later in the episode (such a description is too generous), but her role and actions still don’t impact the episode at all. Why do they even bother bringing her in if they always and immediately tell her to fuck off? Twilight presents her ideas to the EEA, and it’s unsurprising that the EEA will be strict and obstructive (the darker lighting and Chancellor Neighsay’s speech pattern already give those away) because there needed to be more drama. I guess having Twilight trying her hoof at running a school for the first time, the Mane 6 learning how to teach (which will sort of come up later), and the Mane 6 also learning to keep the students in control and interested (general problems in any kind of school, really) weren’t appealing options for the episode. Neighsay gives Twilight the manual that sets the standards for schools in Equestria, and it wouldn’t be Twilight if she didn’t care about reading and getting the details right. Seriously though, I’m pretty sure nobody in real life ever would ever know the contents of any manual inside and out. I mean, even the chancellor quickly flips through his own copy of Twilight’s curriculum (how did Twilight make copies of her manual so quickly?) and pretty clearly demonstrates that he didn’t actually read it. He thought the school would only be for ponies, but Twilight wanted to invite all kinds of creatures, which her manual would say. And he also thought that the school would have the ponies learning to protect themselves. Whether he thought it meant defense against the dark arts or just simply learning about other dangerous creatures (wild or not), Twilight’s School of Friendship wouldn’t really include either of those. I don’t know if another episode in season 8 actually does show the Mane 6 teaching one of those, but those concepts are hardly the main goals of the school or just friendship in general. Twilight even mentions Friends and Family Day, so I don’t know what Neighsay was thinking. Chancellor Neighsay even asks if he can trust Twilight to stick around at her school instead of going out to save Equestria. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfsqEO-WQHc Fine, I’ll try to interpret meaning of his line literally. He might be thinking that Twilight will leave to go on an adventure if she feels like it and might not actually care about the condition of the school, so he wants to confirm her commitment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIgfiSzCy1o Okay, I can’t. I don’t know if Neighsay has ever kept up with the villains that showed up, but if he did, he’d know that Twilight and friends were there almost every single time. And Equestria would need to be safe and in one piece if he even wants any kind of school to stick around. Even if news of a villainous rampage don’t always get printed in the news or whatever, this still doesn’t work from an out-of-universe perspective because she’s the main fucking character, and the show wouldn’t purposefully exclude her completely. There was one exception was at the end of season 6 to give certain other characters some spotlight. It’s not like anyone else has ever been allowed to help. Yeah, Twilight and friends do get excluded again in the season 8 finale for the sake of another certain set of characters (more on that if I ever talk about that episode), but they were still allowed to participate, which is more than what I can say for some other characters. Now we cut to the actual School of Friendship already set up. I wonder how much time has passed. Probably not as much as I think since magic can also be used for construction. Twilight’s friends are the teachers. Obviously. Who else would they be? Their friendship was the only one that has ever mattered, so they are in a way the ultimate authority on friendship. There’s the obvious question of the main characters having their own jobs (Rarity has a boutique and AJ is a farmer, for example), and they’d have to fit in teaching somehow. And it’s very likely that the school runs every weekday except during holidays. How will the Mane 6 fit this second job into their lives? With the writers’ blessings. As in, that stuff won’t matter unless an episode needs it to. I would have rolled with it even if I were still into the show for the sake of simplification and not having too many characters to deal with. Even though Twilight could’ve hired other ponies who could qualify as actual teachers, that means the show would be bringing in more characters (nevermind the issue of paying the teachers, so I guess the Mane 6 are willing to do their second jobs for free), and the use of supporting characters hasn’t been the show’s strong point. However, all of that won’t stop the show from bringing in a specific new set of characters to use for the season. More on that later. Starlight is also the guidance counselor, so she would help students with their academic goals and personal problems. I haven’t seen much of season 7 or 8, so I don’t know how much of if she has gotten better about learning friendship or just helping others through personal problems. I guess she could use her own experience to help the students. And there’s “A Royal Problem” where she helped Celestia and Luna, but that episode honestly didn’t need her. The school bell rings, and everyone else is expecting a bunch of ponies to show up, but Twilight says that she forgot to mention that there will be other creatures as well. That’s not quite the case as she did mention wanting to teach other creatures before the theme song played. I hope the advertising didn’t cost too much. Then again, Twilight is more than likely rich since she’s a princess, has lived in Canterlot (a high-class society) for likely her entire life before moving to Ponyville, and had Princess Cadance as a babysitter (meaning her parents must have been pretty rich unless they cut off Twilight at some point off-screen). Anyways, there’s also dragons, yaks, Changelings, griffons, and hippogriffs. I wonder if some of the pony students cared more about possibly wielding the Elements of Harmony themselves instead of learning more about friendship. And the characters are gonna use the pronoun “everycreature” instead of their usual “everypony” for obvious reasons, which sounds extremely awkward especially when “everyone” and “everybody” would work just as well while still referring to generic creatures. The writers even occasionally (accidentally or not) used “everyone” and “everybody” instead of “everypony” in other episodes as well as this one. And we’re immediately introduced to 6 new characters. It’s obvious that they will be friends (since the school is also about wanting different creatures to be friends) and even counterparts to the Mane 6 (fans even called them the Student 6, which is what I’ll call them collectively), which the season 8 finale confirms. More on that if I ever ramble about the finale. The one who stands out the most is the hippogriff Silverstream because she’s pretty similar to Princess Skystar from the big movie in terms of personality. I almost wonder if they wanted to use Skystar as one of the students but couldn’t because Novo was even mentioned to be Silverstream’s aunt (instead of say, mom). I’m quite surprised to see that I miss Skystar probably because I would’ve liked to see more of her since she was a fun character, and maybe she could some catching up with Pinkie. Huh, I guess they brought in a new hippogriff to be attached to a new group because Skystar would more than likely stick with the Mane 6. Time for school with a musical montage. I thought there would be more students that weren’t ponies, but it seems that I was wrong as only the Student 6 (minus the pony of that group) are the only non-ponies at the school. Things are fine at first with the teachers and students enjoying themselves, though I wonder if the teachers actually taught the students about friendship because the Mane 6 seemed to be talking about their own skills. For example, AJ was teaching about apples and apple-bucking (one part in the song later had her singing about teaching honesty with Pinocchio on the chalkboard, so what did honesty have to do with harvesting apples?), Rainbow Dash taught the students about weather and flying, and Fluttershy taught the students about animals and caring for them. Were they told what they were supposed to teach? Twilight eventually steps in because her friends weren’t teaching in a manner approved by the EEA, and this results in frustration and boredom for both the teachers and the students. She’s even oblivious to the apparent negative atmosphere that has resulted despite supervising the school. The song is done, and the Student 6 vent their frustrations about the classes and their teachers. They already forgot what initially happened. Even the griffon, who’s normally rough and easily provoked, forgot that he was getting along with the pony of the group during the song. An argument comes up between some of the students in the group, with the Mane 6 and Starlight quickly diffusing it. AJ voices her surprise at this when they were trying to teach friendship. Again, the atmosphere of the school seemed rather positive during the song. RD even thinks that they’re not cut out to be teachers, so it looks like the rest of the Mane 6 also forgot about their initially enjoyable school experience. The Mane 6 voices their concerns to Twilight, and she takes it pretty well as she thinks that the school will work because other schools follow the same guidelines and still succeed. If that outcome was anything to go by, how do schools in Equestria even succeed if the students have a fair chance of disliking their experiences? And if the students and teachers are doing their things and still enjoying it, do the teaching methods really matter as long as they work? It’s not like they were doing something questionable or life-threatening. Too bad the EEA don’t and won’t give a response to any of those questions. Since the EEA, or just the chancellor, will be checking in later during the day to see how things are going down at the new school, more trouble must come up as fiction is all about having problems to later solve. And it immediately starts with the most obvious problem, which is the students cutting class. The quickly encounter Fluttershy, and the Changeling immediately disguises herself as Rarity claiming to take the students on a field trip about generosity while also saying that they will be looking at their reflections at a lake. That statement is too nonsensical, which does make some sense as this encounter was sudden, and the Changeling wouldn’t know Rarity that well, but it’s still a tad ridiculous that Fluttershy bought the equally ridiculous statement. However, Angel is suspicious, but too bad he never got the chance to expose them. The students hang out at a lake and start to get along after spending time with each other.. Insert comment here about the irony of the students being able to form a friendship after ditching the School of Friendship. Meanwhile, Neighsay shows up while they were gone. Obviously. RD discovers that the Student 6 are missing, so she, Starlight, and Twilight keep Neighsay busy to stall for time. Neighsay eventually discovers this tactic, so Twilight proceeds with Friends and Family Day. However, the Changeling has transformed into a giant bug for the amusement of her (not quite yet) friends, which causes the ponies below to believe there’s a monster attack and panic about, and then a disaster happens with parts of the school falling apart since the Changeling crashed. Neighsay then becomes enraged after learning from Twilight about non-ponies being enrolled at the school. Insert comment here about the irony of a chancellor wanting his instructions to be followed, but that chancellor completely neglected to comprehend the instructions of a new school. It just goes to show that quickly flipping through a book isn’t helpful. He even calls the other creatures dangerous, and he’s only right when it comes to the griffons (Gilda is one other griffon friend at the very least, and even then I doubt any griffon wants the ponies dead). The yaks allied with the ponies in season 5, dragons (or at least Ember) and Changelings (or at least Thorax) allied with the ponies in season 6, and the Queen Novo is familiar with Princess Celestia unless the hippogriffs held an off-screen grudge. Twilight retorts that friendship is for everyone to learn, but Neighsay thinks that the other creatures might try to use what they’ve learned against the ponies. He probably means that the others might try to take advantage of a pony’s trust to later and more easily backstab the pony when that pony least expects it, which may be a fair point, but that concern easily gets shot down when that kind of stuff could happen between any set of friends. Like I said, I have no idea what that guy was thinking, and he doesn’t use anything to support his nonsensical stance outside of his authority. The other creatures leave in a huff, and I’m pretty sure they’re holding a grudge against ponies when it was only Neighsay that was being vocal and provocative. But I guess there’s something about one pony representing the rest of his kind, so whatever. At least Thorax’s response was more reasonable. Twilight tries to threaten Neighsay by reporting to Princess Celestia of this development, but couldn’t Twilight assert her own authority? She’s a fucking princess, too! I had a discussion with @Cinder Vel about the episode, and he pointed out that a ruler being able to shoot down any decisions from the EEA can make the EEA pointless. That’s a good point, but the problem of show still being more interested in saying what Celestia can’t do while not showing what she can do still remains. Then again, considering that the other princesses of Equestria tend to be powerless against, well – everything, maybe Twilight being powerless in this scenario as well isn’t that unreasonable. Neighsay shoots back by reminding her of all the problems that just happened (in his words, irresponsible teachers, students skipping class, and ponies being endangered), and I guess he might have a point. However, I find it hard to believe that the approved schools NEVER had these kinds of problems as Equestria is hardly a utopia, and I think one strength of a school stems from how well the school can handle these problems and still function, but whatever again. As a result, he closes down the school. As if a character like him would have served any other purpose in the episode. Next part. Twilight is pretty miserable and has been stuck in her bed for who-knows-how-long, thinking that she made a bunch of awful mistakes and failed to do anything right. She mentioned making enemies with Equestria’s allies, but that was more on Neighsay’s part. Then again, she can feel responsible for letting him do what he did. She also thinks that she upset her friends, but that's definitely not the case unless she feels that she failed that horribly. And then her friends (ponies and Spike) show up immediately after to try and cheer her up (to no avail) with no signs of a grudge or hostility. I have no idea why she thought she upset her friends, then. Twilight decides that she needs some time to herself and visits the school. The school is shown to be on top of a hill next to Twilight’s castle, but I’m pretty sure that hill wasn’t there before. Maybe the ponies grew a hill specifically for that new school to be built on. Starlight shows up and instead of trying to cheer up Twilight, she decides to be honest with Twilight and tell her that following the EEA was a dumb idea. Starlight even muses that she herself was a disaster (what an understatement) that was eventually fixed after some guidance from Twilight, so this obstacle isn’t impossible to overcome. Starlight also claims, and I quote, that Twilight is in charge of all the friendship in Equestria. Taking that sentence at face value, that sounds like Twilight would decide which ponies become friends with each other or how friendships should work, which is definitely not her role as Twilight is more about spreading the idea of and encouraging friendship, but I’ll assume my latter guess is what Starlight meant. Anyways, Starlight sees that Twilight’s school isn’t a conventional one, and teaching and spreading friendship is too much of a worthwhile endeavor to abandon, so she encourages Twilight to screw the EEA and do things as she sees fit. And Twilight finds herself with renewed vigor. She sure didn’t take long to recover, and I’m pretty sure fixes like this are normally not that easy, but I guess the episode can’t take spend too much time on this as school must continue, so whatever. At the very least, it’s a nice little scene between the two as it’s a way of showing that the two have truly become close with Starlight giving back to Twilight by offering constructive criticism and encouragement as well as taking to heart her experiences with friendship and with Twilight. However, I have two problems with this scene. The first is that Twilight’s friends appear shallow. They essentially tell her to get out of bed, cheer up, and be happy. You know, tactics that NEVER WORK, and I don’t just mean in fiction. If you see a person fail miserably at something with their mood dampening accordingly, would telling them to cheer up and be happy really work? No shit that it won’t because the person’s problems haven’t been solved or even tackled in some way. Compounding my problem with the scene is that they are her closest friends and even family to her, so why weren’t they willing to ask her if she could talk about her feelings and how they could try to help her through her problems? This was scene was definitely an attempt to show how far Starlight has come and maybe even that there is something Starlight can do that the others couldn’t, but I can’t figure out what that is, so the scene doesn’t work as well as it should have because it was at the expense of those other relevant characters, especially when those relevant characters didn’t muster up much effort in trying to help Twilight. And I even feel that at least one of the characters could’ve even done what Starlight did. AJ for example is the element of honesty, which means telling a hard truth. She did that in her season 4 key episode, so this concept isn’t foreign to her. Fluttershy figured that their current method for running the school was inefficient, so she could’ve said something. All of them knew that things weren’t working out for anyone, and being close friends means that expressing their inner feelings to each other should always be an option (“Green Isn’t Your Color” was about that). Of course, actually being able to actually do that isn’t so easy, but not considering the option to actually have Twilight talk about her feelings is still an issue. I don’t know how this scene could’ve been done differently, but the bottom line is that Twilight’s friends had to half-ass their efforts so Starlight would have an excuse to intervene. My second problem with this scene sounds petty (and is more of a flaw of the show), but I’m gonna say it anyways. Why the hell did Twilight never get a moment like this with Celestia? In fact, why the hell did the show never let Twilight interact with Celestia? Sure there were moments of interaction, but they were too minor and don’t help either characters. The two did get some personal interactions. TWICE. In the entire show. So 2 interactions out of almost 200 episodes as of this writing. That should speak for itself. The first was way back in season 2 with “Lesson Zero”, and that actually should’ve been start of doing more between the two as Twilight’s problems in that episode stemmed from fear of disappointing Celestia. The second interaction happens later in the season during the episode “Horse Play” later during this season, but I’ve already given my say about that. To sum it up, it does nothing for Celestia because the show fucked her up beyond repair. In a way, my initial question must sound strange as Twilight is always helping Celestia, but the reverse doesn’t happen nearly as often because Twilight solving yet another one of Celestia’s problems doesn’t make Twilight look effective and rather makes the latter look ineffective. So I’m really posing that question under the assumption that Celestia has been a major help to Twilight, thus my true complaint is that Starlight gets to interact and have personal moments with Twilight, but the show didn’t let Twilight do the same with Princess Celestia. Wouldn’t it have been enlightening and maybe even eye-opening to be able to compare and contrast the two relationships, the two different methods of learning and teaching (both ways), and see how Twilight applied what she gathered from her own experience with Celestia? Twilight enters the throne room and declares to her friends that she wants to try again with the School of Friendship. By the way, what were her friends supposed to be doing in there? Last time, they were in Twilight’s room and failed to cheer her up. Now, they’re goofing off in the throne room. I don’t know what would cause them to go from being at Twilight’s room and showing concern to this. I hope they were thinking of what to do next for Twilight while killing time at the very least. Anyways, they don’t take the news too well with RD immediately recounting her negative experience as a teacher, and it’s still weird that she and the others don’t remember that their classes went more positively at first, so Twilight’s intervention apparently must have hit them that hard. But Twilight admits that following the EEA instead of her friends was a dumb move and allows them to teach as they please. But the school still isn’t approved and lost all of its students. Twilight’s friends attempt to get back the foreign students, but no such luck because those students ditched their homes to stay together. The closure of the school came rather suddenly, and the Student 6 were goofing off right before that happened, so I don’t know how they managed to plan their escape to a specific location so easily. The representatives and/or leaders from the other kingdoms head to the Canterlot throne room (too bad Queen Novo couldn’t bother showing her face despite her niece being missing) to threaten war at each other for possibly hiding (or maybe kidnapping) the students. All that just for one motherfucker (from each kingdom)? They didn’t even think of finding more clues. Twilight even remarked that the students learned friendship since they wanted to stay together. Even though that remark doesn’t immediately help or even prove anything because there is still a chance of one of the kingdoms having kidnapped them from the representatives’ POV, it hardly looks like any of them put much thought into their actions and decisions. They’re really just looking for an excuse to attack because they’re apparently not as civilized as the ponies who more frequently practice friendship. And if a war did break out, I doubt Princess Celestia would survive. Note that I said Celestia, not Equestria. That alicorn is fucking worthless, remember? It wouldn’t be above the writers to have her killed to emphasize the gravity of a situation because they pull a similar stunt like that all the time. By the way, is that old griffon really the leader or an important figure in Griffonstone? Season 5 hardly suggested either of those. Princess Celestia tells Twilight to find the missing students. By the way, the only thing Princess Celestia does in this 2-part episode is talk. So, she (and Luna) will continue to sit on their asses as usual in a 2-part episode. At least the show is consistent with making sure useless high authority figures stay useless. The main characters try to figure things out at Sugarcube Corner, and the pony of the Student 6 happens to show up for an order of cupcakes. What a nice coincidence. Twilight and co. could have just as easily done their discussion in the crystal castle, but they do it at Sugarcube Corner so they’ll be able to meet a pony student who wants a food item that can be also be obtained from Sugarcube Corner. That pony student could’ve gotten anything else like hayburgers and fries for his group and never encounter the Mane 6, leaving them to a possible wild goose chase. AJ and Rarity noted that they saw that pony student getting other items, but they didn’t figure out what he might have been up to until Pinkie mentioned what he might be doing with the cupcakes. Like I said, if that pony student didn’t show his face to order cupcakes, the Mane 6 would’ve been stuck. We cut to the students hanging out at the Castle of the Two Sisters, and I don’t know the in-universe reason for choosing to stay there. The out-of-universe explanation is that the castle is in the Everfree Forest, a mysterious and potentially dangerous area, which would give the episode an excuse to get the Student 6 into trouble so the Mane 6 can find and rescue them. And that’s what happens. A bunch of wild creatures attack them, and the students don’t know how to answer the situation. The yak student even declares that they will stay together and they put their front limbs together as a visual sign of that declaration, which doesn’t solve anything, so I don’t know what they were hoping for. But like I said, the Mane 6 show up to rescue them and send away the wild creatures. Seeing their teachers in action finally gets the students to respect them (good thing they haven’t heard anything good about the alicorn sisters because if they did, they’d be sorely disappointed). It’s still strange that literally everyone forgot about the initially positive experience at the school, but whatever again. The students are convinced to come back to the school so they can continue to stick together, which is where we cut to next. Twilight clears Neighsay’s magical lock on the school, which causes him to show up right afterward. Too bad a certain princess or 2 isn’t this active when they perceive trouble. He goes on a tirade about what he observed during the last 3 minutes of the part 1 of the episode, and claims that the school was too much of a disaster to keep around. Insert comment about the irony of the school being a disaster because it followed the EEA regulations. And Neighsay somehow thinks it’s smart to provoke the foreigners again. He was apparently oblivious to their angry reactions from the previous episode, but his move is still a stupid one in and of itself. But Twilight shoots back by saying that the school doesn’t need the EEA’s approval to function. She also comments, and I quote, that every friendship is special, so the way they teach it has to be just as unique. I don’t know how much water that statement holds, but she should’ve said that friendship is such a social concept that it needs to be experienced as lecturing in front of a classroom can only do so much. Princess Celestia steps in and reminds Neighsay that different species of ponies had to change their lifestyles to accommodate each other. One might be tempted to say that Celestia did contribute something by saying that line, but I can’t figure out what that might be as any other pony (i.e. Twilight) could’ve said that line to the same effect. Neighsay then leaves in a huff because there’s nothing he can do at this point. The school is reopened, and the characters sing a musical number about enjoying themselves (again). There was a scene with Starlight at a classroom in front of the students, so it looks like she’ll be doing her share of teaching as well. And the foreign students stick around. I mean, what would’ve been the point of giving them all this screentime if they were going to quickly leave? I can’t say that I care much for the episode because it introduces some new gimmicks (i.e. a school of friendship and a newly formed group of friends) when it had (emphasis) better things to do, e.g. expanding on alicorn lore. But nope. Even in this episode, being an alicorn princess still meant nothing. The show generally likes to do something huge and even status-quo-shattering in its 2-part episodes, and “School Daze” was no different. It’s just too bad that their attempts at doing something huge and status-quo-changing have always failed even if the episode itself wasn’t bad because of some unintentional stupidity that the show has already established. And it’s not like the show can ignore the major changes and events that previously happened because that would mean a colossal waste of time, effort, and resources. The only way I could actually care about the changes that happened in this episode even a little bit is for the show as it is to be transformed into a completely different show. And even though the episode didn’t have a big entity of darkness trying to destroy or conquer Equestria, it isn’t too different from a typical 2-parter with Twilight getting the lion’s share of the focus because she’s the princess of friendship and also wielding powerful magic, the other alicorns doing nothing, and Twilight’s friends getting only slightly more to do than the other alicorns so they don’t end up looking completely useless since they’re also main characters. Starlight got noticeably more meaningful screentime than the others in this episode, which I already gave my thoughts on. Sure, Twilight’s friends get to work at the school, but who else would the workers be? Otherwise, more screentime would need to be devoted to more new characters. Certain characters have already been screwed over by a lack of attention over many previous seasons, and introducing more new characters (including the students) would only compound the problem. One last thing I could comment on is about Chancellor Neighsay since he and his attitude got plenty of focus. And the episode went out of its way to emphasize his stiff and racist mentality, so that’s a decent start. I don’t know if his stupidity is intentional or not however, but I will still say that I found it kind of annoying and even unreasonable. For example, he didn’t even think about what having a school that mainly teaches friendship would entail. A way for ponies to protect themselves from dangerous enemies? Really? Twilight even mentioned Friends and Family Day, so what did he think the event would be about? Why would it be about friends and families in a (friendly or not) duel to showcase their combative prowess? Then, he thinks that other species might try to use friendship against them, which may sound reasonable on paper, but that can also happen between pony friends themselves. And why does he think that ponies are superior to other species? Beats me. He also thinks that insulting the other species in front of their faces won’t lead to trouble. If one of them does retaliate, he would just say, “See? I told you they were dangerous!” while being oblivious to the fact that he was picking a fight. I don’t know what purpose Neighsay was supposed to serve other than to be a dick, and the lack of insight into his opinions don’t help. The main characters struggling to work in a school for the first time would have been enough of a conflict for the episode. Neighsay may have said that the teachers were unqualified, and he might be right in a sense because the students were falling asleep and cutting class, but that notion gets shot down when the musical montage first showed the students and teachers doing well, so the Mane 6 was doing something right before Twilight stepped in. The episode could’ve just started with the Mane 6 immediately teaching according to EEA guidelines and then showing all of the trouble that ensued. Of course, there’s the question of how any school manages to stick around if such guidelines for teaching seemed so ineffective, but that’s a question for another time. If the Mane 6, especially Twilight, later finds out that nobody was interesting in attending the school, Neighsay’s first 2 reasons for closing down the school (irresponsible teachers and students skipping class) could hold more water. Other than what I’ve already commented on while recapping the episode, there isn’t much else I can add at the moment. Was it bad? I can’t say that it was awful in the same vein as “Twilight’s Kingdom” or “The Cutie Re-Mark”. But I can’t label it as good since it definitely didn’t interest me for reasons I’ve already given. Then again, the episode came way past the show’s last chance to be a great show, and now it’s stuck with the bullshit it has long built.
  8. Hi

    1. Number95

      Number95

      Hello. Welcome to the forums.

    2. Shining Star

      Shining Star

      Thanks I joined on Thursday at 7:28 AM.

    3. Shining Star

      Shining Star

      wanna be friends?

  9. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    That doesn't sound confident about the episode being "not bad", but whatever. I would say that it's kind of hard to make an episode where Celestia is more prominent as those negative portrayals of her are even more prominent. The worst part is that the creative team doesn't know or doesn't think that there is a problem with her. More like a seemingly powerful position, and then they'll keep coming up with excuses to leave her behind. And you know what happened after resorting to that too often. It's like I said before, she's screwed no matter what happens. The show only made her look like an incompetent ruler. And if she did get to do something else, the show would probably just make her screw up anyways because it doesn't know what to do with her.
  10. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    If the crew hates Celestia, that's one thing. But if that really happens the case, I have to wonder why they ever bothered with her. I honestly doubt Hasbro pressured them into keeping her around. Another unfortunate case of stupidity from the show. And I remember Jim Miller making a statement like that somewhere, but I don't remember where. I wonder if they have even looked at their own creations because nothing about Princess Celestia in the show makes her comparable to a "Superman". Making that statement even dumber is that DC adaptations would try to make sure Superman isn't overpowered to prevent that problem. That's why it's even more of a shame that Princess Celestia as well as the other non-Twilight alicorns haven't been given any real focus or expansion. I get the feeling that the creative crew wants them to be mysterious, but dragging that for so long ends up making them look shallow or dull. And that problem is compounded when characters try to praise them when those alicorns haven't done anything to deserve that praise. Also, since those alicorns also didn't do anything, they instead looked useless and/or incompetent. I don't think there would've been room to explore Celestia's life, especially when considering the episode's own intentions. She may not be good at one thing, but she's able to make use of something else that's relevant enough. I'm not saying it worked perfectly, however. Of course, the show could try to explain itself if it's ever interested, but that's unlikely. I figure Twilight might have kept making the mistake of putting Princess Celestia on a pedestal, but there are problems with that idea already which I've talked about. Her bad acting didn't bother me, either. I was remarking that, at least from what I've seen in cartoons, that when an episode tries to show that a character is terrible at acting, the character (or voice actor, I suppose) gives an intentionally bad performance. For example, there was an episode of Darkwing Duck where Darkwing tries to act for a show or movie (I forget which), and he also gives a bad performance. I don't remember what episode that was, and I'm too lazy to look. That's pretty much the problem I have with the show's portrayal of her. And because of that, I keep wondering what she can do with the show not providing any answers. I've sort of talked about this when I rambled about "Shadow Play". What did you think of the episode? Personally, I don't think the show even did that well with her during the first 2 seasons.
  11. Number95

    How Long did Celestia and NMM fight?

    If only the episode could've implied that the stuff shown was the abridged version, but that's not what happened. One has to wonder how anyone could be aware of Nightmare Moon when she was barely around. I'm not against headcanon, but there should be a reason to watch the show, right?
  12. Yeah, I have to wonder if Luna was aware of literally every pony except herself being diurnal. Then again, Luna has been up during the daytime, but not for "royal duty" reasons. And she's also resuming her dream-walking job, I have to wonder what she did during nighttime before she became Nightmare Moon. Either the ponies were ungrateful about her dealing with their nightmares, or Luna happened to only see ponies that hate the nighttime. Then again, that stuff is "modern Luna" who is supposedly a clone according to OP. It's not like the show could really prove that idea because those alicorns don't get much attention in the first place. As in, I doubt the writers of the show have thought as much about Celestia and Luna as OP. Also, I doubt Princess Celestia is competent enough to manipulate others into being unwitting slaves.
  13. Number95

    Thrond's Review Thread

    You know what? I'm gonna say that the limitations come from the writers. If they couldn't talk about an idea that can work within the show's limits, then they shouldn't try because the result can and will look half-assed. No one (except themselves) forced them to do the stuff they couldn't handle. If the writers don't think the kids can handle the stuff that should have been shown, then that already speaks for itself. If the writers lack the ability to actually talk about an idea that is within the show's limits, well - that also speaks for itself.
  14. Number95

    Another MLP:FIM review thread

    Horse Play The first episode actually focused on Princess Celestia, a character that has been around since season 1 and also has some kind of a major (but vague) connection to Twilight Sparkle. A character who seems so mysterious and bigger (more in a figurative sense) than the average pony, and a character that the show likes to praise. It’s a shame that the show never followed through with the praise, and she instead ended up being a wasted character (and I hate wasted potential) who only chokes on shit and gets shoved into the background because the writers are too goddamn stupid to know what to do with or how to use her as all 2-parters have shown. She alone already raises a bunch of questions, but either nothing gets answered or the show unconsciously gives an awful answer. And if the writers had no intention of doing anything with her, why bring her up at all? Why tease about more interesting concepts in this universe if they don’t give a fuck about those concepts? Faust did work on the first 2 seasons, but I have no idea if she had any plans for Princess Celestia. And clearly the crew on the seasons after were even less interested in her, so why did those people keep her around? Only God knows. And it’s now – what? Season 8? 176 episodes into the show? Really? I don’t know how or why it took this long to do something with a character that is allegedly important and has been in the show from the start. And accordingly, the people working on this show have fucked up so bad with her that anything they try at this point wouldn’t work, but I’ll take what I can get. The episode starts with Twilight having already approached Celestia to celebrate the latter raising the sun for 1111 years. Spike was thankful for Pinkie reminding them, but a more interesting line came from Celestia’s response right after which suggested that she would have forgotten, too. I doubt Celestia is immortal, but a question of this nature can still be asked: What is time to an immortal? However, I doubt that’s something the writers have thought about. Twilight has written a play to showcase the first time Celestia has raised the sun, and Celestia is quite happy after hearing this. I know this is a way to show another side of Celestia that isn’t her usual professional one, but I’m surprised to see that Twilight was surprised. The show (and later in this episode) has said that they were close, so Twilight should have already seen those other sides of Celestia. Then again, it’s not like the show ever did anything with their relationship, so I don’t expect the writers to know what exactly they thought of each other or what they did together. Celestia reveals some history about herself. She had friends of unknown species, and I wonder if those friends were fellow alicorns. If so, well – I know the writers haven’t thought much about alicorns in general. If not, then that could raise some interesting questions about what it’s like for regular ponies to live and interact with a “natural” alicorn, but I know the writers also haven’t thought about this. This is yet another example of an interesting idea going to waste because – again – the writers don’t really know what they’re talking about. I know not everything can be utilized as there are more ideas than could ever be made into episodes, but that doesn’t excuse the show’s wastefulness. Her comments about theater creating a “magical experience” bringing out the “best in us” and forging a “special bond of friendship” are quite amusing. Good thing they don’t have Internet because they’d also find a lot of people bitching about entertainment. But at the same time, I do think there’s truth in Celestia’s statement as the Internet is also a place for people to discuss things they like. I wonder what the old times were like, then. And I there’s also some fun to be had making a work of fiction. Anyways, her childhood friends who may or may not be around anymore used to create plays for themselves, and Celestia wanted to be part of them but couldn’t because she had to hone her magical abilities. Too bad those magic lessons ended up being pointless. Still, the show is pretty damn clueless when it comes to non-Twilight alicorns, so I don’t imagine Celestia’s acting career (or whatever she chose for play production) turning out much better if she pursued it. Upon hearing this interest in being part of a play (not necessarily acting as Celestia never explicitly said that, but I’ll mostly refer to it as acting for slightly shorter sentences), Twilight asks Celestia to be the star of the play, with Spike and Celestia being surprised at this request. I wonder if a ruler could make time to be an actress, but being a ruler (at least in real life) is pretty demanding, so I guess not. Then again, she could’ve tried acting on the side when she was growing up because her lessons in magic and maybe ruling as well ended up being pointless. I mean, when did the show ever prove that she was an effective ruler? Then again, there’s the last sentence of the previous paragraph to consider. Twilight takes Spike to have a private conversation with him, and Spike objects to putting Celestia in the play because Celestia would normally the one giving out orders, and it would feel awkward to give orders to her. Even though Celestia may be a ruler, that doesn’t mean she has to control everything. It’s not like she’s a dictator. And she has been shown to be a reasonable pony, so she wouldn’t immediately turn down someone who asks her for something. Then again, I suppose he might forget about this considering that Celestia barely even exists in their lives let alone the show. Twilight tries to respond with reasons for doing something for Celestia, but they don’t actually work if you think about them. “She's also our friend.” Really? Considering how little they’ve interacted throughout 8 seasons, I wouldn’t know this. “Celestia's always kind to everypony. So if we have a chance to finally do something for her, we should.” Fine, I guess this one’s okay. “How many times has Celestia helped us? Guided us?” Not often. I can count the number of times she helped on one hand. The series premiere, “The Cutie Mark Chronicles” when Celestia calmed a Twilight with uncontrollable power, “Lesson Zero” when Celestia said that Twilight should send letters at her own pace (although the episode doesn’t really do much for both of them), and “Sweet and Elite” when Celestia helped Rarity get a room in Canterlot per Twilight’s request. That’s 5 episodes (counting the premiere as 2), and they’re all in the first 2 seasons. I wonder if there’s a correlation to Lauren having worked on the first two seasons, but that doesn’t matter. Twilight and friends are far more often doing something for Celestia while Celestia has barely done anything for them. Sure, Celestia raises the sun and makes Equestria a place worth living in, but any unselfish shithead in her position could and would do those same motherfucking things. And Twilight’s line suggests that wanting to help Celestia is a personal and genuine favor, not a generic and insincere act of gratitude. As for the “guiding”, never. Celestia never taught Twilight anything or helped her learn anything, and Celestia never did anything for Twilight. Well, she did make Twilight an alicorn, but nothing else came afterward, so there was still no guiding. “Been a warm, calming voice over our shoulder?” I can only think of one, and it’s just this one. I wouldn’t be surprised to see if there was more that I forgot about, but I don’t give a fuck. The point is that this is another futile attempt at praising someone who never did jack shit. Celestia points out that she has never acted before, but Twilight still insists because the students would appreciate Celestia’s appearance. Actually, the students did not give a crap about her appearance as the episode later showed, but whatever. I doubt the people working on the show have noticed. We then cut to the other characters setting up the stage. One interesting bit that stood out was Fluttershy already memorizing her lines. I wonder what her role originally was. Imagine if that role was Celestia, but Fluttershy’s reaction much later in the episode doesn’t not suggest as such. I remembered her having stage fright in “Hearth’s Warming Eve” and “Filli Vanilli”, and it looks like she’s still not quite over it as the episode later shows. Twilight shows up and presents the small but major update on the production of play. Everyone except AJ takes this as big news, though AJ was initially surprised when Twilight first presented this news. Rarity wants to get better material for the costume (funny how Rarity didn’t think to do this when Princess Twilight was doing the play, so Celestia continues to be hailed for some unknown reason, but I’ll talk more about this shortly later), Pinkie wants to bring in a bigger party cannon (I doubt one was ever going to be fired in the play), and RD decides to spread this news as far as possible (even making a rainboom as she took off). AJ wonders why everyone else seems to be overreacting as they have met Princess Celestia a number of times over the show (though I’m not sure about Starlight since Celestia was still barely present when Starlight was made to be a new character, but there is “A Royal Problem” where Starlight saw the alicorn sisters up close, so whatever). But Starlight points out that they met Princess Celestia in more formal settings. Last time I checked, Starlight didn’t meet the other princesses that often at all outside of “A Royal Problem” (though I suppose that could be formal for Starlight since she was not there for an average sleepover), but she did point out galas (that she hasn’t participated in as far as I checked) and world saving (there was the end of season 7, so I could count that). As for the others during the first 5 seasons, I could try evaluating how her appearances came off, but I’m too lazy. Though I’m pretty sure none of the Mane 6 ever met her in more casual settings (remember that the show has done almost nothing with Twilight and Celestia’s relationship, so why would there be anything else between Celestia and one of the Mane 6?), so I’ll take Starlight’s words for it. But what I really wanted to talk about was that the episode tried to say the characters were overreacting simply because a princess was showing up, with Twilight responding that she’s a princess they always hang out with. But Starlight points out that Twilight isn’t a “princess” princess. It’s another stupid ass attempt at trying to make Princess Celestia look impressive by downplaying Twilight. I have to ask again: What exactly has Princess Celestia done to be an imposing royal? Sure there’s her physical appearance, but does that really work when she hasn’t done anything to augment that appearance? Twilight may not rule Equestria, give out commands, or even look as impressive, but she has proven herself to be far more helpful and useful than her competitors. Even if ruling Equestria is demanding, I still don’t know how Celestia approaches her work (“A Royal Problem” didn't give any insight). And that still doesn’t excuse the fact that Princess Celestia has contributed nothing to the show, especially against threats to Equestria. Maybe she doesn’t have a lot of raw power or some other lame bullshit excuse, but she should at least have some knowledge of how to keep her country safe (which has hardly been the case as I can only think of one, which was Discord). Isn’t that also supposed to be one of her main tasks? It’s only about 5 minutes into the episode, and I can’t find much that I actually liked mainly because the stuff that I should like have no weight. Time to rehearse the play, and Twilight is apparently very proud of being the main contributor. Then again, would anyone (maybe except Starlight) know much about the history of Equestria? The Mane 6 did the play for “Hearth’s Warming Eve”, but that didn’t show the same events. Anyways, according to the play in this episode, it took a team of unicorns including Star Swirl to raise the sun (and maybe the moon as well, but the episode didn’t explicitly say so), but the other unicorns would lose their magic after doing so. This sounds like content from The Journal of the Two Sisters publication, so it looks like some of its content will be canon like the stuff about raising the sun, and other bits won’t be like Star Swirl being the one responsible for creating the Tree of harmony in the show when the book said he discovered it. However, what comes next is a tad muddy. Celestia could raise the sun without harm to herself, like the book said. But the episode called her a student. It’s worth noting that while she was learning with and under Star Swirl in the book, Celestia was already crowned princess before learning about this ability. What the episode gives away doesn’t necessarily contradict the book, but I’m wondering if the creative team behind the episode knew whether Celestia was a princess already or not before raising the sun. On a side note, I wonder how the sun and moon were moved before unicorns came along. Princess Celestia finally shows up to play her part, and it turns out she isn’t much of an actress. It’s always weird that bad acting in fiction is always portrayed with deliveries that can only be intentionally bad because there’s no way a person who’s trying to act would resort to the delivery shown. I guess trying to imitate legitimately bad acting might be a bit tough. AJ tries to use her element but is stopped by Twilight. I’d comment on this, but later as this problem only just got started. Next is a dance number, which ended up not appearing during the actual performance. I guess the play was that badly ruined. Celestia is now not in sync with the other performers. I would say it’s her body size, but the students are different species and already have different body sizes. I could also say it’s because they’ve practiced before and Celestia only suddenly stepped in, but the episode made it sound like they needed Celestia’s approval first to actually produce the play, so they most likely just started rehearsing as I don’t know why they’d rehearse at all if they weren’t sure whether they were allowed to do the play or not. Actually, I’m not even sure what purpose the dance number originally served in Twilight’s play. Celestia’s line suggests that they’re celebrating the discovery of her power, but I thought a celebration even on stage would look a bit different from that. As in a festival, not just a dance. Part of the dance requires Celestia to throw Star Swirl’s hat off, but the hat hits the switch that opens the trapdoor that all of the students were conveniently on top of. Hell, the trapdoor was just wide enough for all of the students in a line to fit in. And either the hat is very heavy, or the switch is loose. It’s more likely the former because if the switch was loose, it immediately drop after being hit, but then there’s cartoon physics not unlike what you’d see in a Looney Tunes short. So, the answer is, who knows? And the incident was also an accident, which means the hat could’ve gone anywhere else but conveniently hit a lever to create another problem, which is the students dropping onto and breaking the prop for the sun. AJ points out that the “lead actress is a disaster,” but I doubt being a bad actress would have been enough to cause the second event. Twilight finally acknowledges that Celestia isn’t much of an actress and weighs her options: drop Celestia out of the play and risk hurting her feelings while Twilight comes out looking like a “bad” friend, or keep Celestia around but then get humiliated which Twilight acknowledges will make herself a “worse” friend. I think it’s pretty obvious what the better option is when putting it that way, and just about any piece of fiction or generic advice would say that the truth hurts, or it’s better to be honest about something being bad than to lie that something is good because the lie would be an additional problem. Spike suggests canceling the play because the play hasn’t been made public yet, which is met with approval from everyone else. Were they going to tell Celestia that the play was canceled? Otherwise, she’d wonder why they’d keep practicing if they weren’t going to perform it in front of an audience. I also thought there’d be some annoyance about their initial input being made pointless due to the cancelation. However, RD just happens to come back and say that news of the play has gone pretty far. Twilight tries to think of another option, but AJ tries the honesty advice again. Twilight’s reason for keeping Celestia in the play is that she wants to help Celestia accomplish her dream of being part of a play. There’s also an exchange about honesty being important in friendship, but Twilight also says that helping someone else with their dream is also important. All that doesn’t sound bad on paper, but there’s a much bigger issue I have with Twilight’s reason, but I’ll get back to that later as this point in the episode isn’t the best time for it. Twilight instead tries to give Celestia acting lessons, and the latter says an… interesting line. “This is what I always knew theater must be about – that special stage pony bond of shared trust and honesty.” I have no idea what that’s supposed to mean other than forcing Twilight and Spike to feel uncomfortable. Method Mare actors On Stage and Raspberry Beret are introduced. Apparently, they appeared in the season 5 episode “Made in Manehattan”, and I honestly don’t remember that. They probably didn’t do anything of interest if I couldn’t recall them at all. Where did they even come from, by the way? Were they involved in the play from the beginning? If not, how did Twilight get them to the school so quickly? Anyways, they try improvisation by being mimes, which is an interesting way of showing off 2 talents in one moment. But Celestia isn’t catching on for some reason. So, she doesn’t know the meaning of the word, “improvisation”? She may have asked, “What box?”, but why did she not ask if this was part of the lesson? Why did the actors not explain themselves? Back on the stage, the Mane 6 conclude that their sun prop is no longer usable, so Pinkie tries a yellow balloon, which immediately pops after coming into contact with a… pointy rock. I feel like calling it a stalactite, but they’re not in a cave, so I don’t know the proper term for this kind of rock at their location. That rock didn’t even look pointy enough to puncture the balloon, and it’s not like the balloon was pushed against the rock. But it was kinda funny, so why not? Amusingly, the deflated balloon even flew into the trapdoor. Now it’s back to Celestia’s lessons, and this time they’re on visualization. She still isn’t catching on. Why don’t those actors say that they’re pretending or using their imagination? On that note, I don’t know why Celestia is so literal about this when acting especially on stage has always been about pretending or using imagination. I know this is supposed to be a further display of Celestia’s inability to act, but the actors can also come off as lousy acting teachers for not actually trying to teach. Pinkie Pie tries again with the stage prop, this time using a burning marshmallow, but that of course fails because the episode must go on. How did she even set it on fire? Twilight goes back to Celestia’s lessons again, and she didn’t teleport herself this time. She was apparently that irritated with Pinkie’s demonstration. Celestia is trying charades, and she’s also trying to express her love for Equestria. Like the other characters, I couldn’t tell that what she was doing, but I wouldn’t know how to express something like that with only my physical body and facial expressions. She should’ve settled for something simpler. Spike even called charades the simplest acting exercise. Is that true? I still think that they could’ve tried pretending and using imagination, but then again, I’m not an actor. I do wonder what the actors were thinking as they saw Celestia like they did. That this (allegedly) big royal is a terrible actress. The show rarely gets into how regular ponies see the royals, but as much as I would like to ramble about this idea, I’m not in the mood. It’s time for the play to start, but how much time has passed since Twilight invited Princess Celestia over? The episode makes it seems like it’s the same day but at night. So were they going to rehearse only for one day? I know this is fiction, but I don’t know how they could only work with one day of rehearsal much less production. Then again, one episode wouldn’t be enough to show multiple days of rehearsal, so whatever. RD said that “every pony” was going to see it. Obviously, this won’t be literal due to limited space, but the turnout hardly seemed like an impressive portion of Equestria like RD claimed or hoped. Luna even shows her face among the audience. I wonder how she feels about the raising of the moon not being celebrated. I mean, I’d like to think that Celestia and Luna founded their abilities around the same time because I don't know why Luna would make her discovery far later than Celestia made hers. So why aren’t both of the sisters celebrated? Luna probably didn’t mind as that’s how she became Nightmare Moon, but I know the real answer is that the writers haven’t thought about this as past results have shown that they don’t know what to do with a non-Twilight alicorn. Whether moving the moon around drains magic or not is unknown, and I would assume so, but there’s my previous sentence. Did the creative team know about the publication The Journal of the Two Sisters, or did they just happen to imagine the some of the same things as AKR? In the backstage, Twilight panics about the play having to go through even though Celestia has proven to be hopeless at acting. Twilight even mentions that she completely rewrote the script to give Celestia no lines. Why would Twilight bring up all this at the last minute? In a real play, the actors and actresses would be notified about any changes and then rehearse with those changes, and the playwright wouldn’t say that they rewrote the script during opening night. They’d push back the date of opening night if they weren’t prepared. And like I said earlier, production and rehearsal wouldn’t happen only in a single day. But the episode needed problems to pile up, so whatever again. Pinkie reveals that she bought fireworks as the prop for the sun, which only mysteriously lights up when she pulls the lever. I doubt the lever would light up the fireworks, so that means they were already lit before being revealed. Or Pinkie lit them right before revealing them, or she bought already lit fireworks. She even admits that she didn’t test them, which of course means that they’re going to explode and burn their surroundings. I’ll admit that I was amused at Trixie’s minor cameo. With so much going wrong especially right before the start of the play, Twilight has an outburst about the disastrous production and especially Celestia being an awful actress. And of course, Celestia happens to be close enough to hear it, though Twilight’s volume probably would’ve been enough. Twilight tries to apologize for her outburst, but that of course doesn’t work as well. Celestia is unsurprisingly upset about what she heard, but not as unsurprising is that she is upset about Twilight not being honest from the start. “I'm upset because, in all the time we've known each other, -“ Yeah, right. “I thought I taught you about the importance of friendship, trust, and honesty!” Princess Celestia didn’t teach her. Hell, Celestia never taught anything to Twilight onscreen. Twilight did learn about those virtues and give letters to Celestia when she started living in Ponyville with her new friends, but that’s not the same as Celestia personally teaching her those virtues. Celestia then leaves for some reason. I guess there had to be a reason for a private scene with just her and Twilight. Meanwhile, the others try to stall the audience. Actually, it’s just Spike. I’m not too sure how he’s the ideal candidate for stalling, but why not. Now for the most important scene in the episode, and also the scene that stood out to me the most: the private conversation between Twilight and Celestia in the clouds. The second time in the show (“Lesson Zero” all the way back in season 2 having the first) the two were more personal with each other. It should have been meaningful and impactful just based on the premise of the episode, the emotions from Twilight, and the alleged relationship between Twilight and Princess Celestia, but it didn’t pan out because this episode doesn’t have a foundation. Like I said about “Celestial Advice”, this episode was trying to build on a relationship that never existed, and thus much of the exchange becomes nonsensical and even arbitrary. So the scene stood out all right, but not in the way it should have. *sigh* Time to continue my recap. Twilight flies into the clouds to catch up and apologize again to Princess Celestia. However, the latter is still kinda steamed at Twilight’s dishonesty, so Twilight (tries to) pour out her heart to Celestia. “You've guided me since I was a filly.” So? That might have been true a long time ago, but the idea at this point no longer matters nor does the idea have any meaning. As I have said, Celestia has done nothing for Twilight in the show. “You've given me knowledge and advice and friendship.” You know what I'm gonna say next. “Just once, I wanted to be able to give something back to you.” *sigh* Again, “I know what I did was wrong. I should've told you the truth. But I promised you could be in our play. I had to make it work. Nothing would make me feel worse than knowing I disappointed you.” “I look up to you more than any pony I've ever met! I hate to let you down. Like I did.” At some parts of this review, I said that I had some problems with Twilight’s reason for lying to Princess Celestia, and now I’ll explain myself further. Twilight wanted to help Celestia be an actress as Celestia has expressed some interest in acting. That idea by itself is not bad even though Twilight’s repayment reason is bullshit, but it’s ultimately shallow with AJ’s suggestion (and Celestia’s later note) for honesty not helping Twilight’s case. Wanting to help Celestia be an actress is one thing, but the episode makes it clear that she’s a terrible actress and has no chance of improving, so I don’t know what Twilight was hoping for even though she’s fully aware of those crippling and irreversible flaws. In short, Twilight doesn’t have much of a defense for choosing to tell a lie instead of the truth. Here’s something that might make the episode more interesting. What if Twilight lied to Celestia because her fear of doing something she perceives as unthinkable (i.e. saying something negative about her idol to her face) overshadowed her desire to the truth? In this case, Twilight actually does know that telling the truth is the better option, but now there’s something stopping her from taking what she knows is the better option. Twilight has placed Celestia on a pedestal, but the pedestal has been broken in some way, which is Twilight learning about something Celestia is not good at. Would Twilight be in denial? Would she be afraid of the seemingly perfect image being tainted not just for herself but for others? Is she afraid of the image being further tainted as she can’t imagine Celestia being bad at even more things? The episode could’ve talked about the idea of placing someone on too high of a pedestal. Of course, there are some problems with the episode trying that idea. Princess Celestia stopped looking like a capable and mysterious royal starting at season 4 with “Twilight’s Kingdom” where she was forced to be a stupid motherfucker just so Twilight can take all of the action for herself. So, I wouldn’t know why Twilight would keep putting a stupid motherfucker on a pedestal unless a reason was given, but it’s not like a reason would ever be given because the show hasn’t noticed its consistently deplorable treatment toward Princess Celestia. This points to another complaint I’ve made about the show’s portrayal of the alicorn, which is that the show is always saying what she can’t do while not showing what she could do. At least this episode was kind enough to do the latter a little later in the episode, but even that doesn’t work as well as it should. Also not helping is the lack of a relationship between Twilight and Princess Celestia, a problem I haven’t been subtle about. Since Celestia hasn’t done anything impressive or anything at all for Twilight, I also don’t even understand let alone know why Twilight would look up to Celestia or be so desperate to do something for her. So the reconciliation between the two doesn’t have much of an impact because there’s nothing between them. But they still want to continue with the play, and Celestia suggests that she might know how to pick things up. Back to the stage, and Spike calls this whole endeavor a disaster. But Celestia steps in and says she knows how to deal with a disaster. If previous episodes are anything to go by, that’s also bullshit. But at least she’s given this one (but not enough) chance to take charge. She gives out commands to other ponies as she takes over production for the time being, and this would’ve worked much better if she also had more of a relationship with the other ponies. For example, why did she think that Fluttershy should play her? Fluttershy did play Celestia in the season 4 episode “Testing Testing 1, 2, 3”, but I doubt Celestia herself knew that. This scene was meant to be a display of Celestia’s leadership skills, but it comes off more as being lucky that things worked out instead of her knowing what she was doing. To be fair, RD would be the best one to get clouds, and she did help Fluttershy work with being the lead actress, but those are not good enough. I mean, wouldn’t a good leader know a thing or two about the people they lead? That definitely doesn’t apply to Celestia. And this display of competence is too small and short to be substantial, and even though I did say I’ll take what I can get, it still won’t be enough. More on that later. Anyways, Fluttershy isn’t too thrilled about being the new lead actress, but Celestia tells Fluttershy to visualize being a royal. As one can already see, Celestia is applying what the Method Mares tried to teach her. A typical move as that would be a detail that a story wouldn’t want to discard (otherwise, the scenes with Celestia learning and failing to act would become long fillers), but at least this move does a little better at displaying Celestia’s helpfulness (calling this “leadership” would be too generous) than her previous scene of assigning tasks to the other characters. The play finally starts, and the students show up to the stage with their costumes looking disheveled somehow. Did that happen because of the stuff with the fireworks? Their less than ideal appearance is met with laughter from the audience, which makes Spike the narrator nervous. Celestia tells him to improvise, and his solution is to be a smart ass about the dishevelment. I know the episode wanted to make use of the improvisation that Celestia was told about, but the execution is weird, and I’m having a hard time saying why I feel that way. I’m guessing it’s that one of the ponies the crowd verbally mocked the students for their looks, which is one thing. But it would make more sense for the comment to be more along the lines of, “Why do the costumes look so lame?” instead of the given, “You call those great sorcerers?” On with the play, lead actress Fluttershy finally appears to try and “raise the sun” as per her role, but Twilight realizes that there’s no prop for the sun. I don’t know why Celestia suggested to play charades because all Fluttershy did next was gesture, which I’m pretty sure Fluttershy could have figured out if she didn’t become nervous as a result of suddenly realizing that there’s no sun on stage and if she knew another “prop” for the sun would be used. This bit comes off more as improvisation since Celestia’s expression after Twilight panicked suggested that she came up with the idea to raise the actual sun on the spot. And she does just that. It’s worth pointing out that Luna, who is among the audience and doesn’t speak at all in the episode, was annoyed about her sister raising the sun during the nighttime. I’m honestly not sure why Luna would be annoyed because I doubt the concept of day and night belongs to either of the sisters. I also doubt the sisters own the sun and moon, and even if they did, the reason nighttime exists is not because of the moon (though human culture for some reason associate nighttime with the moon; I’m guessing it’s because of its greater visibility at night, but the moon can still be visible during the daytime. Then again, I don’t study human cultures). The existence of nighttime can arguably be more attributed to the existence of the sun. Without the sun, ignoring obvious effects on life, the Earth would always be in eternal night. And since daytime wouldn’t exist, there would be no reason to have a classification for day and night since the Earth only experiences one of these phenomena at all times and never the other. If only the moon never existed, also ignoring the effects of the moon on the Earth, day and night would still exist. So if anything, the existence of day and night should be accredited to just Princess Celestia. On that note, since Nightmare Moon wanted eternal night, I don’t know how’d she would pull it off unless it was only for Equestria. As long as the sun exists and the Earth is close enough, it will still be daytime somewhere on the Earth, and I don’t know what she would do about that. Maybe she would just block the sun. So it looks like there could be more to Luna’s resentment that was stated at the very first episode of the show, but I know it won’t get examined. What’s also weird is that while Celestia was raising the sun during the night, the sky still kept its nightly look even though it shouldn’t. Since the sun is simply rising in the sky, it should instead look like dawn. But I’m going off on a tangent. The play turns out to be a success, and that must’ve been one short play. Maybe the destroyed set cut down the running time. Or more of the play was not shown on-screen. It also didn’t look like any pony paid an entry fee, so at least they didn’t get ripped off in terms of price. Celestia points out that she never actually needed to be an actress when working on a play, which I pointed out at the beginning as I noted that she never explicitly said she wanted to be an actress. She simply wanted to be able to work on the play at all, which is what she wanted all along and go, and so she’s satisfied. Good on her, but not good enough for me. She wanted to “share an honest bond of creativity, artistry, and happiness with [her] friends.” However, so little screentime was dedicated to her actually working on and fixing up the play, and she also doesn’t have much of a bond with the Mane 6 including Twilight (remember that Celestia also barely interacts with the Mane 6 in this episode), so her line makes little sense. Though I suppose everything being last minute kinda explains the former, but the point is that the line doesn’t have as much meaning as it should. It should’ve been worded differently. So she may not be much of an actress, but she can apply what she (tried to) learn to help others. I wonder if this might mean she’s a better director than actor. She’s already a terrible actress, so it wouldn’t be hard to find something else she’s better at. On the other hand, directing requires some imagination and visualization, and I have no idea if she can actually do either of those. The episode ends with Celestia fooling the others into thinking she’d rather pursue theater production than being a royal, so apparently she can be good at pretending when not on stage. Knowing the nature of the show, she’d get screwed over if she actually did choose theater, and the reason wouldn’t be because she’s meant to be a royal. So that’s the episode. Did I like it? Well, that’s kinda hard to say. I guess I can say I liked parts of it or some of the ideas. Did I enjoy it? That’s also hard to say. Based on my recap, my tone came off as more sarcastic or even negative than genuinely positive, and that’s not far from how I felt when watching a second time. I did like and enjoy the episode during my first viewing, but that’s because I liked Celestia and was pretty glad she got a somewhat solo episode. But the novelty has worn off. I know I didn’t think it was great even when I first saw it, and I already gave my reasons over the review. To reiterate, this episode was building on something that is stupid or doesn’t exist. The characters are surprised or aren’t receptive to Celestia’s awful acting abilities, and the episode was trying to make the idea of Celestia being bad at something to be incredible. After all, the episode spent almost all of her time continuously trying and failing to act. But when did she ever prove herself to be competent at any point in the show? Before this episode, never. And even what was given here is too little because she only gets to start fixing the play about 4 minutes before the episode ends, so there isn’t much room to actually show what she is actually capable of. Why did she think Spike should be the one to narrate? Why not give that task to Pinkie (she likes to talk, her positive nature can raise the spirit of the play), Rarity (she’s an artist and thus creative, so she can give some life to a worn down production), or Twilight (she’s passionate about learning and spreading knowledge, she is the main creative force behind the play, and she wrote the script which also includes the narration)? Why should Fluttershy have been the lead actress? Why not give it to a unicorn, another pegasus, or even Twilight who is also an alicorn? I don’t know how Princess Celestia thinks, so the fixes she provided feel accordingly small and even lucky. Any of the Mane 6 could’ve made the suggestions she did without the episode looking weird. Of course, it wouldn’t come as easily to them because they aren’t as much of a(n alleged) leader as Princess Celestia. But the fixes again ended up being minor (and I don’t mean subtle) displays of her ability because she never did anything worthy of her title (including in this episode), which points back to my sentence about her fix starting too late. So she helped throw together a play at the last minute. But based on my interpretation of her efforts, did that really support the idea that she's capable and competent? Not helping is that the episode still needed the play to happen, which means less time for her ideas and further diminishing her portrayal as something of a leader. As in, we don’t actually get to see much of her being capable of damage control or just a leader who knows how to make what she wants happen because those scenes go by so quickly and also because more time was spent on her being a screw-up. There’s also hints of a relationship and Twilight’s perspective of her, but I have kept saying that those ideas never got off the ground at any point in the show. For example, I don’t even know what Celestia thinks of Twilight outside of her being a good pony. And I can say the same for what Twilight thinks of Celestia. Well, she looks up to Celestia, but I don’t know why, and Celestia’s incompetence over the show doesn’t give much of a reason for Twilight’s admiration to exist. Again, this is why the cloud scene has no meaning. I said I would take what I can get, but this episode at the same time proves that it's too late for any fixes. The episode might have been better if the show was better at handling Princess Celestia. But if the show was better at this, then this episode wouldn’t have happened, or at least an episode like this would have happened earlier in the show where Twilight might have learned to stop putting Celestia on a pedestal. And if an episode like this would have happened at an earlier point, it also would’ve turned out differently (e.g. no Starlight or students). Context matters, and without previous episodes to augment its own ideas, its attempts at a positive portrayal of Princess Celestia fail. Even her screw-ups don’t give much of an insight into her. She isn’t good at pretending or using her own imagination. So? Despite my rather negative feelings, I don’t hate the episode. Or at least I don’t hate it as much as I hated “Celestial Advice”. I’m just saying that the situation around this alicorn shouldn't have gotten so bad. If the show didn’t fuck up so often, I’m pretty sure I would’ve liked an episode like this. As for the students, they didn’t do anything in the episode, which is fine by me as I don’t give a shit about them.
  15. Number95

    Thrond's Review Thread

    If the story still wouldn't talk about Luna or her problems, then the 22 extra minutes wouldn't help. The lack of info about the most important aspects of the episode are its worst flaws. Because of that lack of info, I don't even know why Luna's guilt and self-punishment were so bad despite some amount of obviousness. I wonder if the limitations actually come from the writers' abilities instead of the show. Personally, I can't think of anything that this episode got right.